An Accra High Court has referred to the Supreme Court aspects of the motion by former Chief Executive Officer of COCOBOD, Dr. Stephen Opuni, demanding the prosecution to provide him with all documents they intend to rely on.
According to the judge, C.J. Hormenyega, the issue in contention which is article 19, is one which is already before the Supreme Court, and so it is only right to wait on the judgment of the Apex court to ensure consistency.
Justice Hormenyega, therefore adjourned his ruling on the motion to April 30, 2018.
At the sitting on Wednesday, April 11, 2018, the Attorney General’s Department registered its opposition to the application by the legal team of Dr. Opuni.
According to a Deputy AG, Godfred Dame, they were not bound by law to provide the documents as requested because the case is one of a summary trial rather than a trial of indictment.
Godfred Dame further stated that the defence was only entitled to relevant evidence and not all the documents they have demanded.
The prosecution further indicated the application is not supported by any human rights law as referred to by the defence lawyers.
Godfred Dame’s comments come despite an earlier assurance from the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Gloria Akufo, that her office would grant Dr. Opuni’s request.
In an interview with Citi News in Cape Coast, she said the documents will be made available to Dr. Opuni for the sake of fairness and justice.
“We are going to court. We are prepared to give them what we know. We have nothing to hide. After all, we believe in the right of the individual to defend himself particularly when it is against the principle that you are presumed to be innocent. We are happy to give that which they want, but we will play it as the law provides. That is what is at the heart of the matter now,” she said.
It is thus unclear why the sudden u-turn. Dr. Stephen Opuni, a former COCOBOD CEO, had filed the motion seeking to be supplied all documents the AG intends to rely on in the ongoing case involving himself, the state and a businessman, Seidu Agongo.
He stated that he would be able to mount a better defence if he is furnished with the relevant documents the prosecution will be relying on.
AG drag Opuni, businessman to court
The Attorney General last month filed some 27 charges against Dr. Opuni and a businessman, Seidu Agongo, including a charge of willfully causing financial loss to the state in a fraudulent fertilizer contract worth over GH¢43 million.
At the first hearing of the case, Dr. Opuni pleaded not guilty to all the charges leveled against him.